You Love Your Keurig, But How Does a Keurig Work?

If you don’t own a Keurig and are looking for more information on how Keurig can brew a cup of coffee in under 60 seconds then you have come to the right place!

If you are a coffee lover, you probably own and use a Keurig in your day-to-day life. But you may be wondering: “How does a Keurig work?”

Owning a Keurig is a great tool for those who enjoy making their coffee at home. They can help save the avid coffee consumer a lot of money in the long run. The coffee-making machines can also come in many fun colors and designs.  Love color? Check out the Keurig K-Mini Plus!

Ever wonder how this magical machine brews you hot, wonderful coffee in 60 seconds or less? If you answered yes, then you are in the right place!

Today we will cover how a Keurig whips up your favorite brew! Read on to learn more.

What is a Keurig?

Keurig brew button.
Close to 20 million US households own a Keurig coffee machine.

A Keurig is a coffee maker that allows you to brew individual cups of coffee in the comfort of your own home. 

To brew a cup of coffee, the owner of a Keurig will fill the base of the machine with water. Instead of using coffee grounds and a filter, the way that most coffee-making machines do, a Keurig brews coffee grounds that are packed into a cup. These cups are commonly known as K-cups. 

How Does a Keurig Work?

While a Keurig is a unique concept, there are many models and variations of the innovative brewing machine. However, all of Keurig’s top models have roughly the same way of functioning.

Heat the Water

The first, and one of the most important steps in making coffee, is the hot water. A Keurig stores water to brew coffee in the body of the machine. Once you pour coffee into the body, you can press a button that starts the brewing process. Your Keurig will begin to heat the water to a brewing temperature.

While your Keurig is heating the water, you can select your K-cup flavor. K-cups are coffee pods that work specifically for the Keurig. There are many flavors and styles of coffee that you can acquire including the following:

Start Brewing

One of the most notable features of a Keurig is the chamber that holds the K-Cup. Most Keurig’s have a handle that you lift which opens the chamber, allowing you to insert your K-Cup. Inside that chamber there is a sharp needle which pokes through the bottom of your K-cup. 

By placing the K-cup in the hole, you can pull the handle down and the lid will snap back into place. There will be another needle that falls on top of the K-cup to puncture the top of the pod. 

After the water heats up and the K-cup is firmly in place, your Keurig will begin to brew your cup of coffee. Keurig machines use a similar technology to that of an espresso maker; only there is less pressure in the process. 

As the water reaches the proper temperature, the Keurig will push hot water through the hole at the top of the K-cup. The coffee will pour out from the bottom of the K-cup and into your coffee mug. 

If you are looking for a true espresso machine that operates like a Keurig we highly recommend Nespresso’s top espresso models.

Coffee Settings

As Keurigs have become more popular over time, there has been an increase in models you can buy. Different models will allow you to customize your coffee to match your preferences.

For example, there are many Keurig models that allow you to choose how big or small your cup of coffee is. It is important to remember that when you are selecting a larger cup of coffee, you are not adding a higher amount of coffee, only a higher amount of water.

The more water that passes through a K-cup, the weaker the coffee will end up tasting. On the other hand, the less water you have passing through a K-cup, the stronger the coffee will taste.

Some Keurigs will also allow you to make iced coffee with your K-cups. Other models are slimmer than the average Keurig and are great for individuals who want to make just one cup of coffee at a time. These models will require you to fill the machine with water more frequently than a standard Keurig. 

The Cleaning Process

Cleaning a Keurig is a simple and easy process, and is often much easier than cleaning a standard coffee brewing machine. 

For the chance that your coffee misses the coffee mug during the brewing process, there is a small liquid collector that sits underneath where you place your coffee mug. You can pull the liquid collector out when you want to clean it. The material of the collector is easy to wash and put back together.

If you want to clean up the outside of the Keurig, all you will have to do is give the machine a wipe-down with a towel and light water. 

Keurig vs Drip-Coffee Maker

Two different coffee cups representing a Keurig and drip coffee maker.
There are distinct differences between a Keurig and drip coffee maker. Read on to learn more.

While Keurigs and drip-coffee makers both work to brew you a cup of coffee, they use very different methods of achieving your morning (or afternoon, we don’t judge) brew. 

The Brewing Process

As we know, a Keurig will heat a certain amount of water to match the serving size that you request. The water will then shoot through the K-cup through an entry hole and an exit hole into your coffee mug. Once your coffee is done brewing, you can discard the cup and be on your way. 

A drip-coffee maker often requires the use of coffee grounds and a paper filter. In most drip-coffee makers, there is a large coffee pot that collects the coffee during the brewing process.

Similar to a Keurig, you will need to pour water into the base of a drip coffee maker. The device will heat the water and begin to slowly flow the water through the coffee grounds. Your coffee grounds will sit within your filter, and water will pass through the filter to enter the coffee pot. 

The Speed

While speed is not the most important aspect of a cup of coffee, having a fast coffee maker can help save you a lot of time in the morning.

One of the biggest differences between a Keurig and a standard drip coffee maker is the fact that a Keurig is usually much faster than its competitor. While a drip-coffee maker can accomplish the same task, the lack of a pressure system causes the water to pass through the coffee grounds at a much slower rate. 

Waste Difference

Using a Keurig can help prevent you from wasting coffee grounds. By using K-cups, you won’t overfill your coffee-maker and end up brewing four more cups of coffee than you need.

While you can portion out your coffee grounds with a drip-machine, not everyone is aware of how to achieve a good coffee grounds-to-water ratio.


Overall, a Keurig is a great addition to a coffee lover’s kitchen. The machine is a quick and efficient way to brew coffee without wasting extra coffee grounds. There are many models of Keurig on the market today that offer different features for different coffee drinkers. 

While the Keurig may seem complex in its design, the machine uses a fairly simple blend of technology and innovation to bring a quick cup of coffee to you. 

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